37 books like A Life in the Wild

By Pamela S. Turner,

Here are 37 books that A Life in the Wild fans have personally recommended if you like A Life in the Wild. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

Julian Caldecott Author Of Water: Life in Every Drop

From my list on building peace with nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started off studying tropical rainforest creatures and saw the catastrophic impacts of modern humanity on nature and indigenous peoples. My work then focused on how to resolve conflicts between people and nature, at first in and around national parks and then more widely. I became quite good at dissecting environmental aid portfolios, and writing up what I had found in a series of books. I was also drawn into the great climate protests of 2019 and 2020, and now I'm working on pulling it all together into a book on Restoring Peace with Nature.

Julian's book list on building peace with nature

Julian Caldecott Why did Julian love this book?

I was in Parliament Square at Samhain, 31 Oct 2018, when the Extinction Rebellion began. Greta Thunberg spoke there, but the mic broke so she paused at every sentence for the front rank to call out her words to those behind. The potent archetype of a virgin girl-child speaking truth to power worked its traditional magic, by exalting a thousand people, including me. Fast-forward a few years, and millions on the streets, and this little book condenses the motivation and message of climate activism: “Everyone and everything needs to change. Make the best available science the heart of politics and democracy. We must start today. We have no more excuses.” Greta offers everything important that we have been trying to say for decades. She encourages us to unify our divided minds and purposes. To me this is worthy of the most passionate engagement.

By Greta Thunberg,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller by Time's 2019 Person of the Year

"Greta Thunberg is already one of our planet's greatest advocates." -Barack Obama

The groundbreaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation, including her historic address to the United Nations

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day in order to protest the climate crisis. Her actions sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of students to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a…


Book cover of Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines

Rebecca E. Hirsch Author Of Where Have All the Bees Gone?: Pollinators in Crisis

From my list on for teens who care about the environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of more than eighty books on science for young readers. My books for teens include The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery, Climate Migrants: On the Move in a Warming World, and Where Have All the Bees Gone? My books have won many honors, including a Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, a John Burroughs Association Riverby Award for nature writing, and a place on Booklist's Top 10 Books on the Environment & Sustainability for Youth for 2020. I hold a PhD in cellular & molecular biology, and my background as a professional biologist informs my writing.

Rebecca's book list on for teens who care about the environment

Rebecca E. Hirsch Why did Rebecca love this book?

Fleischmann's tone is upbeat as he explains how to get above environmental issues and see the bigger political and financial forces at work. He explains different environmental problems, from climate change to the hole in the ozone layer, but also delves into the patterns and principles operating behind the scenes. This book teaches you how to evaluate media, weigh sources, understand an interest group's hidden agenda, and make informed decisions as you engage in the fight to save our planet.

By Paul Fleischman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eyes Wide Open as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them.

We're living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking — suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world. 

This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as…


Book cover of The Omnivore's Dilemma

A. Whitney Sanford Author Of Living Sustainably: What Intentional Communities Can Teach Us about Democracy, Simplicity, and Nonviolence

From my list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by the intersection of food, sustainable agriculture, and culture when I moved to Iowa. I had long been an environmentalist, but moving to the land of big corn forced me to rethink food production. I wrote a book that explored agricultural narratives in India (Growing Stores from India) and developed a class on Religion and Food. I then became curious about how people and communities translate their values of sustainability into practice. For example, how do you decide what to eat, and who gets to decide? These books helped me think about links between food, sustainability, and culture and the power to decide what to eat.

A. Whitney's book list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food

A. Whitney Sanford Why did A. Whitney love this book?

What should we eat, and how do we choose? Where does our food come from?

In Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan traces the origins of four meals to help answer this question. Each of these meals represents a food production system, big organic, industrial agriculture, for example. He takes us from a McDonald’s meal (hint: it’s corn) to a hunt.

In reading this book, I especially loved his investigative journalism, how he explored the environmental, social, and economic ramifications of each food and its system of production. 

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Omnivore's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller that's changing America's diet is now perfect for younger readers

"What's for dinner?" seemed like a simple question-until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers' adaptation of Pollan's famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.

In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore's Dilemma serves up a bold message…


Book cover of The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

Rebecca E. Hirsch Author Of Where Have All the Bees Gone?: Pollinators in Crisis

From my list on for teens who care about the environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of more than eighty books on science for young readers. My books for teens include The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery, Climate Migrants: On the Move in a Warming World, and Where Have All the Bees Gone? My books have won many honors, including a Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, a John Burroughs Association Riverby Award for nature writing, and a place on Booklist's Top 10 Books on the Environment & Sustainability for Youth for 2020. I hold a PhD in cellular & molecular biology, and my background as a professional biologist informs my writing.

Rebecca's book list on for teens who care about the environment

Rebecca E. Hirsch Why did Rebecca love this book?

Hoose tells the fascinating history of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a magnificent creature of the swamps and forests of the southeastern US. The book sweeps through two hundred years of history as the bird is hunted, harassed, and its habitat destroyed. By the twentieth century, the birds are so scarce that ornithologists launch the first of many searches, heading into the swamps to find evidence of the bird. To this day, the mystery remains maddeningly unsolved: does the ivory-billed woodpecker still exist or is has it been driven to extinction? A haunting story and one that might make you cry.

By Phillip Hoose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Race to Save the Lord God Bird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The tragedy of extinction is explained through the dramatic story of a legendary bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and of those who tried to possess it, paint it, shoot it, sell it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it. A powerful saga that sweeps through two hundred years of history, it introduces artists like John James Audubon, bird collectors like William Brewster, and finally a new breed of scientist in Cornell's Arthur A. "Doc" Allen and his young ornithology student, James Tanner, whose quest to save the Ivory-bill culminates in one of the first great conservation showdowns in U.S. history, an…


Book cover of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature

Jack E. Davis Author Of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea

From my list on placed-based nature writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and professor of environmental history who divides his time between two “villes,” Gainesville, Florida, and Harrisville, New Hampshire. On April 16, 2018, while in my campus office excoriating a graduate student for his sloppy writing, I learned that my book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in History. The chastened student subsequently revised his work and turned in a perfect paper, and I’ve been trying to live up to the distinction of the prize ever since. My first effort to do so will appear in the form of my latest book, The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird.

Jack's book list on placed-based nature writing

Jack E. Davis Why did Jack love this book?

Like Rachel Carson, Lanham is a scientist who avoids the stilted style of his profession. His book was also a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal, and like Janisse Ray, he published with Milkweed Editions, a powerhouse publisher in environmental literature. As a black man and lover of nature, Lanham describes himself as an “unusually colored fish out of water.” Growing up in rural South Carolina, he was surrounded by woods and wetlands that beckoned his curiosity on solitary wanderings. Everything captivated him: insects, reptiles, rocks, plants, and, especially, birds. When baptized in his grandmother’s authoritarian religious faith, he questioned the ritual but not the algae and “little black commas of tadpoles” in the devotional waters. Sometime after, he came to believe in Nature’s worthiness for worship, a faith that forms the heart of this elegant book. 

By J. Drew Lanham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Home Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored." From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.

Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina-a place "easy to pass by on the way somewhere else"-has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course…


Book cover of The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall

Jane Miller Author Of Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

From my list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond.

Why am I passionate about this?

It all began at a very young age when I aspired to be Jane Goodall and save the lives of animals. Since then, her wisdom, courage, and activism have guided me throughout my life. Through my childhood, I nursed fledglings with eyedroppers, adopted turtles left on the curbside, and became an advocate for “Save our Seals”. In college, I immersed myself in the study of animal behavior. I explored the behavior of Red Kangaroos, "Megalia Rufas" in captivity, exploring ways in which zoos could improve their facilities to respect the needs of the animals. These experiences set the landscape for my work as a holistic psychotherapist with the healing power of dogs.

Jane's book list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond

Jane Miller Why did Jane love this book?

Jane Goodall inspired me on the journey of my life’s work and passion. This book is a beautiful tribute to her groundbreaking work and life. I was honored to have been asked to be a contributor to this book, join me in celebrating her life and power to heal so many lives. 

By Dale Peterson (editor), Marc Bekoff (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Jane Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her nearly 60-year career as a groundbreaking primatologist and a passionate conservationist, Jane Goodall has touched the hearts of millions of people. The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall is a collection of testimonies by her friends and colleagues honoring her as a scientific pioneer, an inspiring teacher, a devoted friend, and an engaging spirit whose complex personality tends to break down usual categories. Jane Goodall is the celebrity who transcends celebrity. The distinguished scientist who's open to nonscientific ways of seeing and thinking. The human who has lived among non-humans. She is a thoughtful adult with depth and sobriety…


Book cover of My Family and Other Animals

Ayser Salman Author Of The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit in

From my list on new worlds that made me feel less like an outsider.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Iraq, and grew up mostly in the Southern United States—with a brief stint in Saudi Arabia. My father taught me the importance of books and reading. And I found it was the best way to escape from the constant fish-out-of-water feeling that followed me through my nomadic childhood. I grew up, and grew out of those feelings… most of the time. But I never outgrew reading and I still love when a book sucks me in and makes me lose myself completely. These are a few of those books. 

Ayser's book list on new worlds that made me feel less like an outsider

Ayser Salman Why did Ayser love this book?

I was nine and still getting used to life in America after moving from Iraq five years prior, when my family moved us to Saudi Arabia. Scared and lonely, I felt more like an outsider than ever before and reading became my solace. I discovered this hilarious book and instantly fell in love with it; mainly because it depicted the author’s dysfunctional British family during their time living abroad in Corfu. In addition to the humor that naturally comes from “fish out of water” stories, it was the first time I’d read a literary account about a family as colorful as mine. It encouraged me to view my family not as a source of annoyance (as I’d been doing prior to that point) but as a source of entertainment.

By Gerald Durrell,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked My Family and Other Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspiration behind ITV's hit family drama, The Durrells.

My Family and Other Animals is Gerald Durrell's hilarious account of five years in his childhood spent living with his family on the island of Corfu. With snakes, scorpions, toads, owls and geckos competing for space with one bookworm brother and another who's gun-mad, as well as an obsessive sister, young Gerald has an awful lot of natural history to observe. This richly detailed, informative and riotously funny memoir of eccentric family life is a twentieth-century classic.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics…


Book cover of Father and Son

Nicholas Maes Author Of Laughing Wolf

From my list on to understand (and survive) modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a classicist (Greek and Latin) and a serious student of history. Modernity has obsessed me for the last 10 years, how it unfolds, what its implications are, whether it generates more gains than losses, whether it’s changing us profoundly and whether we can dodge it or not. Because of this interest (which I lecture on often) I am fascinated to see modernity’s gleanings in earlier times and always curious to see what other critics make of it. Because its effects will only grow down the road, the task of understanding its mechanisms and outcomes is one of extreme urgency, as these books illustrate in different ways.

Nicholas' book list on to understand (and survive) modernity

Nicholas Maes Why did Nicholas love this book?

I loved this book because it ties in with an obsession of mine, the interface between modernity and the past.

It is the autobiography of Edmund Gosse, who grew up with strict, devout parents (even by mid-19th-century standards). However, the father was a biologist just at the time Darwin’s Origin of Species was published. I was intrigued by Gosse’s growing awareness that his parents’ worldview was so out of sync with the times, just as I was fascinated by the father’s anguish as his faith pulled him one way and his reason another.

Gosse’s description of the passing of a world is so entrancing (even from today’s perspective), yet the closeness (and neurosis) of family bonds is endearingly the same.

By Edmund Gosse, Michael Newton (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Father and Son as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This book is the record of a struggle between two temperaments, two consciences and almost two epochs.'

Father and Son stands as one of English literature's seminal autobiographies. In it Edmund Gosse recounts, with humour and pathos, his childhood as a member of a Victorian Protestant sect and his struggles to forge his own identity despite the loving control of his father. A key document of the crisis of faith and doubt; a penetrating exploration of the impact of evolutionary science; an astute, well-observed, and moving portrait of the tensions of family life: Father and Son remains a classic of…


Book cover of Girl Who Loved Giraffes: And Became the World's First Giraffologist

Jill Heinerth Author Of The Aquanaut

From my list on young explorers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a world-class underwater explorer, writer, photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. A pioneer of technical rebreather diving, I have led expeditions into icebergs in Antarctica, volcanic lava tubes, and submerged caves worldwide. As a child, these fanciful places were just a part of my wildest dreams. The Aquanaut tells the story of how I turned my imaginative journeys into reality and became a celebrated underwater explorer.

Jill's book list on young explorers

Jill Heinerth Why did Jill love this book?

When Anne Innis Dagg was a little girl, she longed to study giraffes in Africa. Many obstacles including gender discrimination stood in her way, so she hide her female identity to get a job and then traveled to Africa on her own. Anne fulfilled her dream and became the world's leading scientific expert on giraffes, inspiring the next generation of women scientists to pursue their dreams.

By Kathy Stinson, Francois Thisdale (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Girl Who Loved Giraffes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

When Anne Innis Dagg saw her first giraffe in a zoo she was entranced. So much so that a love for giraffes shaped her whole life. She decided at a young age that she would one day travel from her home in Canada to study giraffes in their natural environment in Africa.

After overcoming obstacles based on her gender, Anne succeeded in fulfilling her dream in 1956 and became the world's leading scientific expert on giraffes.

In The Girl Who Loved Giraffes, Kathy Stinson and Francois Thisdale have created a beautiful picture book that captures the dramatic story of Anne's…


Book cover of Red Alert! Endangered Animals Around the World

Michele Sheldon Author Of The Mystery of The Missing Fur

From my list on animals, wildlife conservation, and kindness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve travelled to the Pantanal and along the Amazon both ways from Brazil and Colombia while I was teaching English in Brazil and will never forget the destruction of the Amazon. A visit to the gaping hole of Serra Pelada, a gold mine, had a lasting effect on me as did the forest fires and scorched earth, devoid of any bird or animal apart from the skinny cattle grazing amongst the blackened trees, stretching for miles. A run-in with a hyacinth macaw egg thief, who was smuggling the beautiful birds into Europe, spurred my interest in writing a children’s series which touches on conservation, endangered species, and illegal wildlife trafficking.

Michele's book list on animals, wildlife conservation, and kindness

Michele Sheldon Why did Michele love this book?

This beautifully illustrated picture book is dedicated to 15 endangered animals out of the 41,000 species on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and explains why they’re in danger and what we can do. It features the most hunted and trafficked creature on the planet, the pangolin whose scales are made of keratin – the same as our nails – but are boiled to make pointless ‘medicines’ with zero effectiveness. Other creatures are the long-nosed crocodile, the peacock tarantula, and the snow leopard. With 60 percent of species being wiped out since the 1970s, perhaps it’s time for radical thinking. Should animals like tigers and cheetahs start charging companies for their images, spots, and stripes to raise money to protect what remains of their environments?

By Catherine Barr, Anne Wilson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Alert! Endangered Animals Around the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

An interactive look at endangered animals imploring readers to discover fifteen species facing extinction.

Inspired and endorsed by the "Red List" database of animals in peril maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this brightly illustrated book introduces species from six different habitats on six continents. Blending approachable text, secondary facts and lush art, Red Alert! offers full portraits of animals such as the Chinese giant salamander, the snow leopard, the blue whale, and the giant panda, and provides young activists additional resources for how they can help save these beautiful creatures.


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